This whole suspension/violence/injury stuff is so predictable. This year it’s reached an all time high. The league looks like idiots, fining Zenon Konopka 2500 bucks for yelling during a Ranger interview, then fining Shea Weber 2500 for trying to put Zetterberg’s head in the turnbuckle.
Now the league, all of “twitter” and every asshole from tsn or espn or talkradio is going crazy over the horrible hit by Torres on Hossa. You would think he was found funneling information to Al Quaeda on the whereabouts of all the puppies in the US. He is a scourge on the game, he’s what is wrong with hockey. The dipshits are out in full force.
OK, first of all Torres is an asshole. Everyone agrees on that. But here’s the point. Watch one episode of “NHL bumps and bruises” and you will find 10 hits JUST like that one. Feet off the ground, guys covering 50 feet of ice to make a hit, shoulder/forearm to head. It’s the most popular in-game entertainment in EVERY arena and the NHL knows it. The playoffs are in large part so popular because now every player on the ice is finishing every check, and if a guy puts his head down look out because Dustin Brown is gonna come hit him then run to the bench.
You can’t have it both ways. Or, rather, you can’t have it both ways and ALSO not look like idiots.
Removing head shots from the game is easy. Removing crosschecks to the jaw is easy. Removing guys jumping guys and punching them 20 times? EASY!
Do you see that happening in even football? Basketball? NO, because if it does you are immediately thrown out of the game, suspended for the rest of the season and fined up the ass.
But in Hockey? You can do it as long as the player you do it to isn’t taken off on a stretcher!
As soon as you figure in the injury, and allow the intent to be penalized differently each time, well you are screwed.
And that’s where we are. A league that desires head hits, but then cries bloody murder when a star gets hit in the head … well they look foolish. That is the problem. They say the don’t want head hits, but they do want head hits. They say they don’t want everyone out to injure their opponents, but they really do.
Penalize the intent. Weber’s actions were as dangerous and more menacing than Torres. But wait and see the difference in penalty. The end result is that players know that if they knock a guy into next Tuesday they maybe get a 2500 fine or a one game suspension. What does a 4th liner care about that? That’s their job!
Until the NHL makes a decision – hits like Torres’ are either going to be penalized so severely that they won’t be repeated, they aren’t fooling me with their post-hit sincerity “oh we all wish Mr Hossa and his family the best in his recovery”.
And fuck, I don’t care. Leave those hits in the game OK by me. Just don’t cry about it when a guy gets fucked up for life.